Three-year-old gelding Military Zone capped off...
The 2018 Golden Slipper Stakes field and barrier draw has been announced by Racing NSW ahead of Saturday’s $3.5 million classic at Rosehill Gardens and race favourite Sunlight has come up trumps with barrier five.
A capacity line-up of two-year-olds take to the track for the richest juvenile’s race in the world, the Group 1 $3.5 million Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) featuring 16 starters plus four emergencies.
The two winners of last weekend’s final Slipper lead-up races, Sunlight and Written By are considered the ones to beat in the latest markets at Ladbrokes.com.au and were also two of the big winners at Tuesday’s official Golden Slipper barrier draw set to jump alongside each other in gates five and four respectively.
Grahame Begg’s Written Tycoon colt Written By is out to retain his undefeated status, the four-time winner having saluted in his Sydney debut.
Champion of this year’s Group 1 $1.5 million Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), Written By proved his ability the Sydney way of racing taking out the Group 3 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) in a gutsy all-the-way effort.
Jockey Jordan Childs continues his association with the proven Group 1 winner in the Golden Slipper field on Saturday, Written By looking to emulate Stratum (2005) who was the last Pago Pago Stakes – Golden Slipper double winner.
“It’s been very exciting,” trainer Begg said post-barrier draw.
“We had a few issues with the horse getting him up to this stage…a lot of issues early on with his barrier manners but we’re over all that now.
“The horse has done a remarkable job to get here.”
Written By sits on the second line of Golden Slipper betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $4.80.
Written By’s winning time last weekend was also a half-second quicker than that of Tony McEvoy’s class filly Sunlight who secured her favouritism in Golden Slipper betting with success in the Group 3 Magic Night Stakes (1200m).
She is the narrow $4.20 top elect in the latest Golden Slipper odds with McEvoy saying her hoop Luke Currie’s job on Saturday would be made easier by the favourable barrier that last produced a winner with Sebring (5 of 16) in 2008.
“Luke’s job is made a little bit easier by the draw,” he said.
“With Written By  and Sizzling Belle  drawn in there, they look the speed.”
Also drawn well in barrier seven is the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained I Am Invincible colt Santos to be ridden by Tim Clark.
Clark may be chasing his first Slipper success aboard the last start Group 2 Skyline Stakes winner, but Waterhouse will make history with a seventh Golden Slipper trophy should Santos get up.
“Luck has a lot to do with it,” Waterhouse said at Tuesday’s barrier draw.
“It’s a tricky race, but it’s a great race.”
Santos pays $8 in the updated Slipper odds online with Performer ($8.50) and Seabrook ($9) following closely to round out the single-figure hopes.
Chris Waller of Winx fame is yet to saddle-up a Slipper winner and has both Performer in barrier 16 and his Group 3 winning filly Fiesta ($21) in the far outside gate in the mix.
Barrier 16 for Performer could become 13 with the four emergencies out, the talented Exceed And Excel colt looking to atone after throwing jockey Hugh Bowman from the saddle in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) on March 10.
Bowman has since been cleared fit to ride the chestnut again in the Golden Slipper along with star stablemate Winx in the George Ryder Stakes.
Fiesta meanwhile will be out to salute from barrier 16 of 16 come race day, a feat recently achieved by Vancouver (2015) and Phelan Ready (2009).
She comes off a lead-up second to the aforementioned Mick Price-trained Seabrook who won the Group 2 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) on March 3.
2018 Golden Slipper Final Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Race 7 (4:10pm) – 24/03/2018
|No.||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier|
|1||1×111||WRITTEN BY||Grahame Begg||Jordan Childs||4|
|2||34×11||SANTOS||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||7|
|3||11||AYLMERTON||Jean Dubois||Tommy Berry||8|
|4||11×10||LONG LEAF||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Blake Shinn||19|
|5||1x1L||PERFORMER||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||16|
|6||1142||EF TROOP||Tony Gollan||Jason Collett||2|
|7||314||PRAIRIE FIRE||Mick Price||Mark Zahra||6|
|8||1162||SANDBAR||Brad Widdup||Christian Reith||3|
|9||112||ENBIHAAR||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Stephen Baster||15|
|10||3×11111||SUNLIGHT||Tony McEvoy||Luke Currie||5|
|11||121||ESTIJAAB||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Brenton Avdulla||17|
|12||2×323||OOHOOD||Tony McEvoy||Zac Purton||11|
|13||32×12||FIESTA||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||20|
|14||1112||SIZZLING BELLE||Nick Olive||Kathy O’Hara||1|
|15||4×31||SEABROOK (NZ)||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||12|
|16||212574||SECRET LADY||Gary Portelli||Ben Melham||13|
|17e||14×74||QAFLIA||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Craig Williams||10|
|18e||11×34||GONGS||James Cummings||Tye Angland||14|
|19e||1×434||LEGEND OF CONDOR||Gerald Ryan||TBA||9|
|20e||42×23||SPIN||Peter & Paul Snowden||TBA||18|
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